February 5, 2009

USDA: when experimental GMOs escape we want the authority to do nothing

US Plan To Tolerate Unapproved GMOs In Crops Draws Concern
Author: Bill Tomson
Publication: Dow Jones
Date: Wednesday, February 04, 2009
The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to cement into law its authority to do nothing when unapproved biotech material is discovered in crops, and that has raised concerns by groups worried about the purity of food, U.S. exporters and foreign importers.

New authorities are needed to deal with the rapidly advancing field experiments of genetically modified crops, according the USDA\'s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service\'s plan to control the industry. But the agency also made it clear there are plenty of conditions under which it will do nothing if those experiments end up in the food supply.

See also Reuter: Us Unable to Weed Out Unapproved Modified Food


nosmokes said...

Since they already exercise the *do nothing* option I'm not sure I'm seeing anything new here? When the unauthorized rice got into the food supply the solution was to grant a retroactive authorization thus clearing Bayer of any liability, even though it meant US farmers were unable to sell their rice overseas and the contamination is still a problem today.

The fact is the USDA and the FDA are part and parcel of the Ag/Bio/Chem industry and with President Obama's cabinet picks I'm not seeing any big change in the near future. I was hopeful that at least we could get labeling of products containing GMO ingredients but I don't even see that coming about.

anne said...

yes you're pretty much right about the Bayer rice screw-up which is still now with us: see http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/3575

I guess now they just want to codify a law to allow for the neglegance.

Obama did campaign on GMO labeling...but his Ag team doesn't inspire. Maybe he'll surprise us.